We almost ended up not going to this place were it not for a fluke of destiny when our original destination was undergoing maintenance during the week of our tour and whose staff was somewhat rude to potential guests.
Prado Farms was the perfect location and a better substitute to that other place which turned off potential customers. In Prado, there was the added surprise bonus of meeting the artist, founder, owner who turned out to be an art therapist trained in Switzerland and steeped in the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. I was starstruck to meet Reimon Gutierrez because I was a big fan of Sari Sari Store which he was a part of. If you belong to the generation who knows Sari Sari, it’s a store for clothes and more serving the eclectic, eccentric, cooky, weird and artsy fartsy. In short, my kind of store and I felt sad when they closed.
By a fluke of destiny, my ankle was also disabled and I wasn’t able to walk around with the other moms who went crazy posing for pictures. I sat outside amidst the greenery and ended up having a long chat with Reimon. After his involvement with Sari Sari Store, he set up ISIP:
The Institute for Steiner’s Ideas in Practice (ISIP) Philippines provides a space for the concepts of Rudolf Steiner, Austrian social thinker and philosopher, to flourish as forums for discussion and as applied efforts. ISIP produces events that aim to increase the depth and breadth of understanding of Steiner’s work. Steiner is best known in the Philippines as the founder of the field of study known as anthroposophy, the philosophical basis of the Waldorf schools, bio-dynamic farming, and anthroposophic medicine. The ISIP Center, located in Makati City, also houses The ISIP Store. Bio-dynamically grown rice, vegetables and herbs are available, as well as organic food products, plant-based, chemical-free household cleaning agents, organic soaps, baby products, and other personal care items. ISIP’s counterpart, Prado Farms in the province of Pampanga, 90 kilometers away from the country’s capital, is committed to similar goals and offers a space complementary to ISIP’s urban location.
Donna, my partner in this Hero’s Journey project, is very much into Waldorf having sent her daughter for two months to study in a Waldorf school in New Zealand and one week to try out Manila Waldorf in Timberland. We were both excited at the prospect of Prado Farms as the future site for the Hero’s Journey. We inspected the dorm-type facilities and imagined what fun the kids would have biking, swimming and taking Waldorf-inspired workshops. Reimon put us in touch with Tammy who runs Camp Ikapudi patronized mainly by families who were into Waldorf.
For seven years, Reimon dedicated himself to helping designers all over the Philippines develop products for international and national markets. Prado Farms is dotted by the results of those sessions with local craftsmen and manufacturers. Reimon also helps cancer patients and other troubled souls through art therapy.
This coming October, I hope to attend a camp organized by Tammy who was introduced to me by Reimon by phone. Their next activity is called Camp Inspire for parents and children.
Following is the description of Camp Ikapudi:
CAMP IKAPUDI for kids this summer at Prado Farms, Pampanga!
Camp Ikapudi, is a stay-in camp designed specially for kids that will be held in Prado Farms, Lubao, Siongco, Pampanga this May 14-17, 2015. For four days and 3 nights, children from 2-13 years old will have a legendary summer by getting their hands dirty, finding their tribe, and learning more than a thing or two in the process. The campsite, Prado Farms, is conducive to these activities because is a functional biodynamic-organic farm adorned with artistic creations.
At Camp Ikapudi, there are two programs for children ages 2-6 and children ages 7-13. The 7-13 year old children will get to harvest and cook what they eat (Farm-to-Table Cooking), learn science and math through Earth Kitchen Baking, and understand focus, concentration and dexterity through activities in Handwork and Craft. The camp program also includes Biodynamic/Organic Gardening, Animal Farm Care, Toy-making, Camp Survival, Painting and Clay Work, and games and movement activities that teach the hands, feet and body to work in harmony.
For the little ones, aged 2 to 6 years old, the camp’s Summer Playgarden includes a full day of care, nature, song, games, art, play, play and play!
This is a joint project of St. Michael’s Playhouse Makati and Shaping Sophia whose initiatives center on education. Taking the cue from their own principles and practice in education, they have chosen camp counselors with years of experience in teaching and training in child appropriate activities under the Waldorf curriculum in education, art and movement. There will be camp counselors and assistants who will facilitate the programs in toy-making and life survival skills, painting and clay, cooking and baking, movement games, crafts and embroidery.
The Prado Farm compound is a secure, gated resort and your children can explore even by themselves. Each family or parent-child can choose shared accommodations with the other campers, or an upgraded private room. Parents and guardians can join the afternoon activities. After dinner, families will have your own private time.
For this initial summer camp, parents or adult guardians will accompany the children. But Camp Ikapudi looks forward to a true summer camping experience in the coming years where children can come even without their parents.
Summer is here so make your reservations early by going to www.facebook.com/campikapudi , email email@example.com or call/text 09166445806 or 09288560764. Last day of registration is May 8, 2015. It can be just the summer adventure your child will take about for the whole year, until next camp. Camp Ikapudi advises one adult to accompany your child depending on the personal needs of the child/children. It would be great if parents can join the children in this adventure.
Summertime is magic time. And Camp Ikapudi makes it happen for your kids. It becomes a childhood enriching summer tradition where children can find their tribe, experience nature, deepen values and virtues, and create opportunities for development.
The camp is a fertile ground where campers can understand the rhythms in nature, discover universal principles that they can apply in daily living—in other words, camping has become more relevant than a simple summer adventure for kids.
Check out more about Prado Farms: